This Mill House Maui Review is from our recent visit, between Maui luxury hotel stays. If visiting Maui, I highly recommend staying at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea; TravelSort Clients enjoy Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits, and an updated review of the property is forthcoming.
The Mill House Maui Location and Hours
The Mill House is located within the Maui Tropical Plantation complex at 1670 Honoapi'ilani Hwy in Waikapu, Maui, about a 25-30 minute drive from Wailea on Highways 31, 310 and 30. There's ample free parking. As there are also zip lines, gardens, a gift shop, etc. at Maui Tropical Plantation, look for the signs to the Mill House Restaurant. The Mill House is open daily for lunch and dinner from 11am-9pm, with Happy Hour 2-5pm.
Waikapu, which in Hawaiian means “waters of the conch” and refers to the fresh water streams that anchored this fertile area of land, where Hawaiians grew their staple plant, taro, and where pineapple, coffee, and later sugar cane were cultivated, remains lush and green, and it's worth a walk around the gardens before or after the Mill House.
The Mill House Maui Menu and Food
The Mill House bills itself as offering innovative, farm to table cuisine that makes the most of Hawaii's local bounty. Chef Taylor Ponte is originally from Maui, although he's worked for Chef Alan Wong, one of the pioneers of Pacific Rim cuisine, and for Chef Jonathan Mizukami, who worked at the French Laundry and formerly was Chef de Cuisine at Chef Mavro. The Mill House sources locally as much as possible its produce, meats and seafood.
After ordering, we were brought some fresh, warm rolls. I liked that they were served warm, although taste-wise they weren't anything special.
My husband ordered the fish sandwich, which came on a potato bun, ostensibly with macadamia nut pesto and garlic aioli, which had sounded tasty on the menu. That said, my husband thought it was nothing special, and said he's had better fish sandwiches. It also seemed overpriced, at $24 for what it was.
Our son ordered the Italian sausage pizza. I tried a tax piece, and thought the squash puree was a great combination, as a sweet counterpoint to the sausage. I couldn't taste the truffle aspect of the truffle brie cheese, however, so the kitchen seemed to have skimped a bit on the cheese part, or the truffle brie that was used was low on truffles.
Since we were dining with a relative who is pescatarian, we ordered a couple of appetizers to share. The Root Vegetable Fritters with Indian spiced jam were nicely spiced, although rather dense, and not as crispy as I was hoping for.
The Smoked Fish Profiteroles were my favorite dish of the meal. Not only were they beautifully presented, the smoked fish filling, made with garlic and creme fraiche and adorned with fish roe, was delicious, and it was reasonably priced, at $12 for 4. I'd love to see these in Hawaiian Airlines First Class, which could sorely use an upgrade to their catering.
The Two Steamed Buns with braised beef were tasty enough but very one-dimensional, even with the spicy teriyaki sauce. I liked that the filling amount was generous, but as far as buns go, I much prefer the char siu bao at Tim Ho Wan, although these are baked and not steamed.
In addition to the Smoked Fish Profiteroles, the other strong dish of the ones that we tried was the Kauai Prawn and Fish Curry. Large prawns were used, and the fresh Thai Basil and mint added delicious herbaceous notes to the coconut curry, which wasn't too spicy, notwithstanding the chili oil used in it.
I liked but didn't love the Mill House. From prior reviews I'd read, I expected to be wowed, and I just wasn't. I preferred the bread offering at Ko Restaurant at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, and preferred the quality of our main dishes at Ferraro's, the Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea. And we far preferred our meals at the Four Seasons Lanai and at Roy's Ko Olina on Oahu to the Mill House. Of the items we tried, the strongest dishes were the Smoked Fish Profiteroles and the Kauai Prawn and Fish Coconut Curry.
Service was friendly, although we waited awhile for our food, and in particular for my husband's glass of wine, which should have been easy to pour and arrived before our food, not after.
The garden setting makes for a nice stroll before or after lunch, so if you're passing by the area anyway, it's worth a stop, but I wouldn't make a special detour for it.
Disclosure: We paid for our own meal at the Mill House Restaurant.
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